5 artists to watch (literally) during the 2017 Wide Open Walls mural festival

Photo by Jeremy Sykes
Irubiel Moreno works on his mural at 20th & K streets during last year's Sacramento Mural Festival

Last year’s Sacramento Mural Festival was such an unexpected hit as a spectator sport that the event has relaunched this year as Wide Open Walls, a fully interactive art happening that will take over around 40 walls throughout the metropolitan area Aug. 10-20, with food trucks and buskers on hand at various sites (scroll down for a map). Below is a curated list of five of the artists we’re looking forward to seeing in action, from local painters on the rise to international art celebrities.

Maren Conrad

This Sacramento artist, whose 2016 exhibit put Barbie dolls in compromising positions, will bring a team of painters to help execute her first mural on the back wall of the MARRS building. Conrad is no stranger to public art installations, having designed murals and art pieces everywhere from City Hall to local restaurants like Poke Noke. 1050 20th St. instagram.com/marenconrad

Maren Conrad's mural at Poke Noke in Sacramento (Photo by @pokenoke_ via Instagram)


This Spanish artist’s vivid geometric paintings have adorned everything from a telephone booth in Portugal and beer tanks in Germany to the ceiling of a cathedral-turned-skate-park in Spain. He is currently showing his work at the Adda gallery in the City of Light, and here in the City of Trees, Okuda will paint an 60 foot-tall silo near The Mill on Broadway. 439 Tailoff Ln. instagram.com/okudart

Okuda's paintings grace the outside of beer tanks in Hamburg, Germany (Photo by Lars Lehner @schabernack via Instagram)


British cartoonist and street artist Phlegm’s mechanistic black-and-white fantasies will lend Victorian-industrial charm to a 3,000 square-foot wall in downtown Sacramento behind Merchants National Bank. He is known for his detailed, large-scale works like an eight-story mural in Toronto completed last year. J St & 7th St. instagram.com/phlegm_art

Phlegm completed this mural in the spring in Ostend, Belgium (Photo courtesy of Wide Open Walls)

Bryan Valenzuela

You may not recognize local artist and musician Bryan Valenzuela’s name, but you probably saw his installation at ArtStreet or gawked at his sculpture, Multitudes Converge, which hangs inside Golden 1 Center and consists of 400 glass balls representing the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers. Valenzuela’s first mural will enliven the side of an industrial building on 27th and R streets. 2710 R St. instagram.com/valentinopalomino

Bryan Valenzuela's "Squall Line" (Photo courtesy of artist)

Lora Zombie

This Russian-born pop artist’s signature drippy, trippy unicorns and superheroes have earned her a quarter million Instagram followers. The canvas for her Wide Open Walls mural will have a prominent spot on a wall along R Street at 13th Street. Though none of the artists revealed the subjects of their paintings, it's safe to say Lora Zombie’s will be fanciful and figurative. 1729 13th St. instagram.com/lorazombie

Lora Zombie's "Space Unicorn" mural in Iceland (Photo by Dasha Msoeva)

For a complete list of artists and a schedule of events, visit wow916.com.

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